Make Changes to the Family Court System A Call to Action
In the email, please include a few lines about your personal situation, how long it has been since you have seen your children or other issues you have had seeing your kids. Call on your MPP to make changes to the Family Responsibilities Office to change FRO from a collection agency to an agency fair to both parties, and most important, Fair to the Children.
It has been close to 5 years since I have seen my children. The custodial parent has done everything in their power to alienate my children from me by telling the children that I have no interest in being part of their lives and then blocking all access to my children as a way of confirming to them that I don’t love them.
While I have court orders allowing access to visit my children, the custodial parent has continued to violate these orders. Charges of contempt have little effects as a judge is hesitant to issue a finding of contempt as they do not want to imprison the custodial parent or fine them, the only options under the Family Law Act.
Birthdays come and go, Christmas, other special days, and I am prevented from participating in my children’s lives. I’m afraid that by the time they are old enough to make their own decisions the custodial parent will have completely alienated my children from me and they will never recover.
While the Family Responsibility Office acts as a powerful collection agency for the custodial parent, there is nothing in place to enforce the non custodial parent’s rights to see their children, to participate in their lives, their well being, their education, and to tell our children that we love them.
While there are many issues with the court system that need to be addressed, you have the power to correct some of these injustices with changed to the Family Responsibilities Office. By changing the mandate of the Family Responsibility Office from a collection agency to an enforcement agency that has the ability to make sure that not only are support payments are enforced but that access orders are also enforced.
There are many divorced couples that have been successfully able to ensure that both parents are involved in the lives of their children, they are not the issue. The issue is when one parent chooses to punish the other parent by blocking all access to the children. These are the cases that require assistance.
With the power of the Family Responsibility Office, adding in the power to withhold payments to the custodial parent if they refuse to follow court ordered access could be a great step towards correcting access rights. When a judge issues an order in a valid court in Ontario, one would expect that the order is not a suggestion, it is an order to be obeyed. When a judge issues a support order, it is enforced by FRO, when a judge issues an access order, why can it not also be enforced by FRO.
The non custodial parent currently has no options except paying for a lawyer to go back to the courts for another order that the custodial parent will violate again. Contempt doesn’t seem to be an option in the current system. But a financial penalty could go far to correcting the actions of the custodial parent.
I am not suggesting that the support payments be forfeited, only held back until the custodial parent chooses to follow the court ordered access orders. I would expect that most of the time this would correct the actions of the custodial parent, however consideration must be still given to those that will deny access for several months and then allow one visit to collect the support payments and reset the clock and then go back to violating the order.
As most divorced parties do not need this, they are more concerned about the well being of their children than punishing the other parent, provisions only need to be made to allow the non custodial parent to call for this enforcement.
Every child deserves two parents, you have the power to make this happen. I am calling on you to support changes to the Family Responsibility Office to turn it from a collection agency to an agency that will ensure that Family Responsibilities includes raising and loving our children.
Every child deserves two parents that love them.
A concerned parent.
Please feel free to copy and paste this into an email, make changes to personalize it for your situation, or write your own email.
If 1 or 2 email their MPP, nothing will change, if 20 email their MPP, they will take notice. If a hundred people send in this request, we will have a force to make changes, and if a thousand affected parents and families were to contact their MPPs, we can force change.
If every parent that has been denied access to their children were to send this to their MPP, we can change the laws.
This is only the first step, but we must succeed here first, and with support, we can change the Family Law Act to provide joint parenting in every case.
Remember, EVERY CHILD DESERVES TWO PARENTS.